Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Surgery Number 15

I am so weary from 24 days of watching my child suffer.

Another day, another surgery.  Mold, fungus, infections....  they live in the soil in Afoolistan, so when these guys are injured, these things get into the wounds and wreak havoc.  Frequent washouts are required to help keep the wounds clean.

Derek's white blood cell count was up to 34 two weeks ago, but then it was below 10, which is considered normal.  Yesterday, it was 15.  Today, it spiked above 30 again.  So, they did a CT scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis to see if they could find the source of the infection.  A cursory look of the scans did not find the source, and he is not running a fever, so we will have to wait for the radiologists to have a closer look tomorrow.

In the meantime, fluid was found on both lungs.  Derek had been off the vent.  Then after surgery on Friday, because he was so tired, he was put back on vent support, but on CPAP, which just offers a boost.  Today, the vent was breathing for him.  The fluid on his lungs was making it difficult for him to breathe on his own.  Tonight they decided to drain the fluid from the right side only, which should help him breathe a little easier.

We were also told Derek had problems with anesthesia.  The gas bothered him. 

During the surgery this morning, they re-opened the right leg and replaced the antibiotic beads to help with the infection, but the wound looked good.  They were also able to close the arm a little more.
Derek is on seven different antibiotics, so these stupid infections should be on the run!  Anyone want to serve an eviction notice on this family of infections?  These parties have got to stop.

Derek was also started on Ketamin for the phantom pain.

Today was an overall quiet day with Derek inasmuch as he was not feeling well.  We sat quietly with him, except when I asked Krystina what she wanted from McDonalds.  At that, Derek became animated and asked me for a small chocolate milkshake by mouthing the words since he cannot yet speak.  I told him I would get him that as soon as he can swallow.

One shining moment today, and something that showed how small the world can be is when I looked up and saw a doctor who had to be about seven feet tall if he was an inch.  Randy Mielke, a friend of my cousin.  My cousin Cristina married Ben and Ben went to school with Dr. Mielke, the anesthesiologist who did the procedure on Derek tonight.  He better have done a good job or I will sic my cousin on him!

I am asked so many times by people how they can help.  I have never been one to accept help, because I always want to do it on my own.  I cannot do this on my own.  If you want to help, donations are being collected at Friends of Derek McConnell, PO Box 1811, West Caldwell, NJ 07007-1811.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  They mean so much and are truly humbling.  They really are helping get me through this terrible ordeal.

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